Idaho Court Slaps Down Kohberger’s Appeal—Allowing Trial to Begin Sooner

Estimated read time 2 min read

The Idaho Supreme Court on Tuesday denied an appeal to have an indictment nullified for Bryan Kohberger—a move that will allow the accused quadruple murderer’s trial to be scheduled sooner than it otherwise could have.

In the appeal, filed this year, Kohberger’s attorneys claimed their client was improperly indicted last year on four counts of murder by an Idaho grand jury.

The defense claimed jurors were improperly told there only needs to be “probable cause” of the defendant’s guilt instead of the higher threshold of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a designation that’s typically needed to convict a suspect, but not indict.

Despite conceding the defense’s arguments were “creative,” Latah County Judge John Judge denied the appeal in January, saying precedent proved that “beyond reasonable doubt” wasn’t needed to indict. Kohbeger’s attorney, a public defender, then brought the case to the state’s supreme court, where they ultimately sided with the lower court on Tuesday without citing a legal reason.

With the appeal process complete, Kohbeger’s criminal trial is free to be scheduled to take place in Moscow, Idaho—the same city where he’s accused of massacring four University of Idaho students as they slept in their home just off campus.

A trial date is yet to be set, however, with Kohberger’s legal team indicating they have some other delay tactics up their sleeves. Namely, the defense has motioned to have the trial moved from Latah County, where the murder—and fallout from it—consumed its population of 40,000 in late 2022.

A hearing for that motion, which prosecutors have opposed, is slated for May 14.